American Football has been around the Philippines for about five years, and remarkably, so much has happened to grow the sport. The Pilipinas Aguilas, our national team for American Tackle Football, faced Japan (ranked number 3 team in the world, and number 1 in Asia) for its maiden game, which coincidentally is an American Football World Cup qualifier under the International Federation of American Football. We also hosted a friendly game against Western Australia Raiders in 2014. Both teams proved to be juggernauts for a budding Philippine team; nevertheless, the unrelenting Filipino spirit brought us back up as we face the Korea Tigers. All these in five busy years.
Korea has a different story though, shared Lawrence Bowlby, the head coach for the visiting Korea Tigers. American Football has been in Korea for 50 years but it hasn’t barged its way through mainstream Korea. He went on to say that there are 32 university teams in Korea, which makes a formidable foundation for the sport, but none of them are legitimate varsity programs yet. In fact, the visiting team, bannered under Korea University, had to rely on donations from their university alumni network, while some funded their own just to play against the Pilipinas Aguilas. Coach Lawrence was all-praise for the passion, dedication, and heart shown by the Korea Tigers.
More about the Phil-Kor cup after the jump!